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Polish in Lake Zurich

Polish in Lake Zurich
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    Post #1 - March 7th, 2005, 6:26 pm
    Post #1 - March 7th, 2005, 6:26 pm Post #1 - March 7th, 2005, 6:26 pm
    Pulaski Day is the ugly stepsister of holidays. Rather than inspire pride and joyful Polish celebrations around the nation, the commemoration of the great Polish patriot and Revolutionary War hero mostly breeds confusion. Which schools are closed? Banks? The post office? Do I feed the meter? We already know the answer to that last one, as his honor would make Jesus Himself plug quarters to avoid a ticket on the day of His second coming (Jesus's, not Daley's).

    So the General took it on the chin in Savannah thousands of miles from his beloved Polska so we can anguish over whether or not to put out the garbage cans? Mam tego już dosyć!

    In any case, the opportunity to celebrate with some real Polish comfort food just got a little easier for those residing in the steppes of central Lake County. Ania's Polish Deli is doing commerce in a drab strip mall next to a Midas Muffler Shop on Rand Road (Rte 12) in Lake Zurich. The place is unique for the area, and even unique for a Polish market in that there seems to be at least a cursory effort made to explain the offerings in something other than the mother tongue. The sausage selection, while not as broad or deep as say, Kurowski's, provides information in both Polish and English. Same goes for the homemade salads and meat offerings. The hot case items are still stubbornly in Polish only, but visuals provide a clue, and the help speaks enough English to fill in what can't be figured out.

    Even so, getting to the bottom of what turned out to be a breaded chicken cutlet topped with chunks of canned peaches and covered with a melted slice of Muenster (with orange rind!) was still a little tricky. Further complicating things was that it was topped with a Maraschino cherry. Cognitive dissonance and loathing in Lake Zurich. It tasted like what one might expect.

    Despite that, there are mostly winners here. The wedding sausage is a top five with a bullet, as is a curious spiced and breaded ground chicken ball wrapped around a white smoked cheese. The name of this torpedo-shaped stuffed meatball, 'kotlet radziwilowsk,' made me think of Lee Bouvier Radziwill and really, who wouldn't want to be reminded of her while eating formed ground meat stuffed with cheese?

    I won't ever leave there without a sandwich though. Racks of freshly baked rolls are just about perfect, possessing that delicate crunchy crust that crackles and gives way to softness for consistency, think of when you first bite into a Chiclet. It's so good it may have even saved the chicken a la cling cutlet if one were inclined to throw it into one of these.

    I went on Saturday late morning and the place was jumping, so I had no opportunity to get any back story. The rest of the place is five aisles of interesting dry goods and a frozen case with pierogi, frozen soups and prepared foods.

    So godspeed, General Pulaski. Those murderous Russians were finally driven from your homeland, and you live on today in the semi-official glow of quasi-commemoration in the country you helped to defend. Oh yeah, the chicken cutlet also sometimes comes with pineapple and, presumably, justice for all.

    Moja droga jacie kocham!
  • Post #2 - March 7th, 2005, 6:38 pm
    Post #2 - March 7th, 2005, 6:38 pm Post #2 - March 7th, 2005, 6:38 pm
    When my youngest sister was in high school, she and her friends referred to this holiday as "Cashmere Sweater Day."

    If Lake Villa is not too excruciating far, I have a Polish restaurant rec which I'll get to in a day or so.

    Happy Holiday!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - March 7th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    Post #3 - March 7th, 2005, 6:48 pm Post #3 - March 7th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    Lest we forget about Warsaw Inn further west in McHenry. Huge Polish buffet that's been there forever. I remembered addresses this time.

    Warsaw Inn Buffet
    217 Front St
    Mc Henry
    Phone: (815)344-0330

    Ania's Polish Deli
    890 S Rand Rd.
    Lake Zurich
    (847)719-2370
  • Post #4 - March 7th, 2005, 10:46 pm
    Post #4 - March 7th, 2005, 10:46 pm Post #4 - March 7th, 2005, 10:46 pm
    As my Irish-American sister-in-law called on her cell phone, lamenting the fact that all the Jewels on the north side had sold out of pierogi which she needed for her Pulaski day feast, I couldn't help but chuckle as I read your Lake Zurich post. Why is it that noone celebrates Pulaski Day?

    Last month I fielded a phone call from a TimeOut mag reporter, who wanted to find out how people celebrate Pulaski Day. He wanted recipes, restaurants, traditions. I had to gently explain that Pulaski Day is kind of like Martin Luther King Day--you remember a great man's accomplishments, but you don't necessarily have a party in his honor.

    So, today, as my kids were slaving through their Polish school homework, learning about Chopin, I raised a glass to Pulaski, the father of the American cavalry, and thanked him for helping bring freedom to this great land, where so many cultures (and cuisines) live in relative peace. There's no better place on earth. Na zdrowie! Anna
  • Post #5 - March 8th, 2005, 12:56 pm
    Post #5 - March 8th, 2005, 12:56 pm Post #5 - March 8th, 2005, 12:56 pm
    For those of you in the south suburban area, we also have a Warsaw Inn that has been there forever. We have not been there in many years, but my husband always calls it the "Heart Attack Inn" when we drive past. A lot of food swimming in butter. Judging the size of the patrons on our last visit, most of them have been dining there on a regular basis. The food was plentiful, although I don't remember how good it was. I think if it was really outstanding we would have gone back.

    Warsaw Inn
    (708) 474-1000
    2180 Glenwood Dyer Rd
    Lynwood, IL 60411
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #6 - March 8th, 2005, 1:15 pm
    Post #6 - March 8th, 2005, 1:15 pm Post #6 - March 8th, 2005, 1:15 pm
    I always celebrate it and have since my first Pulaski Day in Chicago, 1992, when I found myself at the venerable Chicago Law Books and then Blue Sky Resaturant, about 4800 S Pulaski. OK pierogi, back then at least.

    It's a Chicago-only holiday, right?
  • Post #7 - May 28th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Post #7 - May 28th, 2006, 11:17 am Post #7 - May 28th, 2006, 11:17 am
    While Reflections is a supper club with wonderful views of Deep Lake, it's Polish owners have a few selections of Polish food on the menu. If you come to Reflections on a Saturday, the soup of the day is always Polish Pickle soup. Otherwise this restaurant features non-ethnic food of fish, steaks, prime rib and such.

    Last night we had to abandon our plans of eating at Dockers due to driving rain and wind. We went instead to Reflections On Deep Lake, which has reopened after a kitchen fire earlier this year. The rain had stopped and the skies were clearing to the west, we asked if we could eat outside. They advised we could but if a storm suddenly blew up again, then we would be eating in the bar area. We agree and except for a few sprinkles before we left, we had a very quiet and pleasant meal on the deck.

    While I usually have pierogi or their Polish mixed plate, I took my meal from the specials of the day: Roast pork and homemade potato dumplings with a mushroom gravy, which was obviously Polish. This came with soup or salad, which was a no brainer because I love their pleasantly sour tasting pickle soup:

    Image

    While pickle soup is our old beloved friend at this restaurant, we loved the succulent pork, the slippery soft potato dumplings and sour cream laced mushroom gravy:

    Image

    I loved the mushroom gravy so much, I took a container home. Well actually I attempted to take the container home but left it in the restaurant. If it was perfume, I'd buy stock.

    Reflections On Deep Lake
    38564 North Edgewood Street (At the "end" of 2nd Street)
    Lake Villa, IL 60046
    847-265-4170
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - October 31st, 2008, 10:30 am
    Post #8 - October 31st, 2008, 10:30 am Post #8 - October 31st, 2008, 10:30 am
    Dined at Warsaw Inn in Lynwood last sunday and it was/is excellent if you like polish food. On sudays they have turkey and gravy thats as good as I have had anywhere including ma's homemade which I thought no one could beat. Everything else very good to good. I believe they have lowered prices for buffet due to the economy.$ 14.95 for adults.
  • Post #9 - May 26th, 2012, 9:04 pm
    Post #9 - May 26th, 2012, 9:04 pm Post #9 - May 26th, 2012, 9:04 pm
    After my daughter's graduation we made our way up to Reflections on Deep Lake in Lake Villa. What a nice place! Cozy atmosphere, terrific view. We were seated right at the window overlooking the lake. I even pointed out the spot on the lake where I lost my parent's 7.5 HP Evinrude outboard motor off the back of the rental boat about 35 years ago. For all I know it's still sitting on the bottom at 20 feet. After we had cocktails, I wanted a Żywiec beer with my meal, so I did a search on the web for how to pronounce it and was able to order it by just saying the name, something like shivitz. Our server didn't bat an eye and brought it right away.

    My wife and I both enjoyed the Polish pickle soup. The graduate had the chicken noodle soup and the pierogi platter and ate all nine of them, which is unusual for her. Her sister, my wife, and I all opted for the Saturday prime rib special. 16oz of perfectly cooked, juicy, tender, and flavorful prime rib topped with sautéed mushrooms, along with potatoes, green beans, and a delicious pickle salad for only $17.50! The three ladies also picked out big desserts that they scarfed down in no time. The place was packed when we left and I can see why. The family was very happy with me for finding this place, but I owe it to Cathy2 for clueing me in to it.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #10 - May 26th, 2012, 9:27 pm
    Post #10 - May 26th, 2012, 9:27 pm Post #10 - May 26th, 2012, 9:27 pm
    I also wanted to mention that Ania's Polish Deli that the OP was talking about several years ago moved to north of the Walmart and is still going strong. They have also added a really nice Polish buffet restaurant adjacent to the deli. As for their deli I want to try the #2 Krakow Delight
    *Krakow Sausage, Morski Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Mayo and Mustard
    *Polish Rye Bread or Fresh Roll

    Ania's Polish Deli & Buffet
    780 S. Rand Road
    Lake Zurich, Il 60047
    (847)726-4020
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #11 - May 29th, 2012, 10:32 pm
    Post #11 - May 29th, 2012, 10:32 pm Post #11 - May 29th, 2012, 10:32 pm
    imsscott wrote:The family was very happy with me for finding this place, but I owe it to Cathy2 for clueing me in to it.

    Hi,

    I am glad you liked your experience there as much as I do.

    Congratulations to the the newly minted graduate!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - April 22nd, 2014, 5:42 am
    Post #12 - April 22nd, 2014, 5:42 am Post #12 - April 22nd, 2014, 5:42 am
    imsscott wrote:I also wanted to mention that Ania's Polish Deli that the OP was talking about several years ago moved to north of the Walmart and is still going strong. They have also added a really nice Polish buffet restaurant adjacent to the deli. As for their deli I want to try the #2 Krakow Delight
    *Krakow Sausage, Morski Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Mayo and Mustard
    *Polish Rye Bread or Fresh Roll

    Ania's Polish Deli & Buffet
    780 S. Rand Road
    Lake Zurich, Il 60047
    (847)726-4020



    I see that Ania's Polish Deli & Buffet no longer has the buffet. Also, The Warsaw Inn in McHenry has closed their buffet restaurant and is just a catering business. Wherever will we go for Polish buffet in Lake county now?

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